Noise nuisance

Taking action against loud noises

Residents have the right to enjoy life in their own way and in their own home, providing they act within the law and do not interfere with the rights of others.

To be classed as a nuisance, a loud noise or noise nuisance must be persistent, regular and likely to interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of your home.

We will investigate all complaints about excessive noise but we can only take action if the noise is considered to be a statutory nuisance.

A statutory noise nuisance is a nuisance at any time of day or night under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (opens new window).

A council officer must witness a statutory noise nuisance or a breach of notice in order to take further enforcement action. This requires officers to enter residents' homes to witness the impact.

What loud noises can we investigate?

We can investigate:

  • animal noise
  • building alarm noise
  • car alarm noise
  • car repair noise
  • DIY noise
  • music noise
  • vehicle alarm noise.

We cannot investigate domestic noises, such as:

  • voices
  • washing machines
  • kitchen equipment
  • doors closing
  • toilets flushing.

Before reporting loud noise to the council

  1. Talk to your neighbours to find out if they're affected as well.
  2. Talk to the person causing the problem - they may not realise how it is affecting you and you may be able to reach a compromise by taking this simple action. However, first consider what reaction you are likely to get from this approach. If your neighbour reacts aggressively, do not persist and put yourself at risk.
  3. Read our  A guide to resolving neighbour disputes (PDF) [540KB].

If you are a private tenant, contact your landlord or residents' association.

Before you contact us, you need to have sufficient evidence to support your report, so that it can be investigated and proven. We recommend keeping a 2-week diary of any noise nuisance, to include date, time, type of noise, volume, duration and the impact.

    These are not enforceable against by law. We have no power to make people change their behaviour in these respects. Where students houses are causing the problem due to late hours being kept, we can offer advice and will liaise with the university to assist student households integrate with the local community.

    Who to contact

    If you live in a private property, contact your landlord, housing association or management agent for the following:

    • shouting
    • arguing
    • swearing
    • neighbours' children
    • domestic appliances
    • doors closing
    • toilet flushing
    • kitchen equipment
    • general domestic noise
    • sound proofing.

    In you live in a council property, contact tenancy management for the following:

    • shouting
    • arguing
    • swearing
    • neighbours' children
    • domestic appliances.

    Report loud noises

    To report noise nuisance during daytime hours (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), please use our online form.

    Report domestic noise


    If you are experiencing noise nuisance outside of daytime hours, you can call 01895 250111 during the following days/times only:

    • Thursday 8pm to 2am
    • Friday and Saturday 9pm to 3am
    • Sunday 7pm to 1am.
      Page last updated: 14 Nov 2023